Once the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru said, “you can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”. It is a fact that the social condition of women of any nation is a pointer to the level of development of that nation.
The story of Indian women is as old as the history of Indian civilization. In ancient times Aryans were the main inhabitant of India. These people were mainly Brahmins and they used to give the status of goddess to the women. Lakshmi, Durga and Saraswati were the Goddess which the women were honoured to. In a Sanskrit sloka it says about women that ‘Yatra Naryastu Pujyante, Ramante Tatra Devta‘ – where woman are worshiped, God resides. So that was the social status of women in the Vedic era in India.
In the post Vedic era, the status of women began to decline with time. Gender inequality started creeping into the society. But the status of women started declining due change in the society and mixing up of other foreign cultures with the Indian cultures,as a result of many foreign invaders. These invaders came to India with their own culture with them. Invaders were the rulers for many years, which made the Aryan cultures totally lost or changed. As foreigner, having no respect to the women, their main aim was looting the wealth and enjoying beautiful women. As polygamy was a norm for these invaders they kept them in their “harems” for fulfilling their lust. This type of disrespectful treatment towards women were spread in the society and slowly crept into the minds of Indian people and they also began to treat their own women in the similar manners. This changes in the society declined the status of women in the society.
Shakuntala a character of epic Mahabharat
The foreign invaders are no more ruling the country, but the degrading of status of women is still continuing in some form or the other. It has come to the girl child and the plight of a girl child starts before she sees the light of this beautiful world. They are not allowed to reach to womanhood. In some parts of India, in the society where illiteracy and superstitions prevails, the girl childs are killed before they are born. The technological development has become the curse in this case or you can say the misuse of technology. It is an universal test during pregnancy but nowhere like India the girl fetuses are killed. Otherwise also in some parts of India, birth of a girl child still considered to be a curse and burden (due to dowry). So there are plenty of instances of killing girl childs as soon as they were born. National census statistics (2001) shows that a child sex ratio of 927 girls per 1,000 boys. (news in Times of India dated 08 Oct 2007)
We should break age-old myth that a daughter is no longera curse and a burden to the parents. If a daughter is given a proper education, she will never be less than a son. They who prefer son should know that -
“A son is a son till he gets a wife,
but a daughter is a daughter for life”.
Daughters are future mothers who helps God’s system of continuing species on this planet. Without a womb, birth of human being cannot be possible in the natural way. It is God’s wish, and God created women. Who are we to go against God, against nature ?
In a family, girl childs are like flowers in the garden, they just radiates fragrance, the beauty. They are the companions, they are the passionate lovers, they are the loving wives, they are the lovely home makers, they are the affectionate mothers, they are the Goddess, Goddess Lakshmi (Means Goddess of wealth).
(Photo : Images of paintings by Raja Ravi Varma)